With the passing of Alexander Cockburn, journalist extraordinaire, Africa has lost a friend, a really good friend.
In decades past Alex was all to often a voice in the wilderness, especially in the pre-internet western media, in helping expose the crimes committed by the USA and its western vassals in Africa.
In 1992 Alex was about the only journalist with a voice in the media who exposed what was one of the first of the western crimes under the guise of “humanitarian intervention”, in Somalia.
Alex wrote of how the USA invaded and occupied Somalia under the cover of famine relief and instead ended up committing a massacre of Somalia clan and religious elders that had gathered to try to bring peace to Somalia. Alex helped expose how this massacre was committed by the all-white, racist US military death squad made infamous in the film “Black Hawk Down” and ended the best chance for peace Somalia was to see for another 14 years.
The last time I hosted Alexander Cockburn in my previous life in Hawaii was in 2006 (I had hosted/co-hosted Alex first in 1994 and then again in 1999) and was shortly before we moved to our new home in Eritrea.
After I had lived in Eritrea for a few years Alex began to contact me and urged me to help bring to the world’s attention the crimes being committed here in the Horn of Africa.
He used to send me articles like how Angelina Jolie held a press conference and demanded the USA declare war and attack Sudan, the sort of stuff guaranteed to get me indignant and forced to hit the keyboard to expose these creeps.
It was Alex who got me to write about Sudan again, for the first time since 2003, in 2009. Years of investigation were finally written down and one of the first exposes of the Dafur genocide fraud was made available to a western audience of hundreds of thousands if not millions thanks to Alex.
South Sudan was not something I wanted to write about for what was once a promising peace settlement had been turned by the USA into a political nightmare but at Alex’s persistent urging I put pen to paper so to speak and the only accurate history of the Sudanese peace process became part of the public record.
Directly or indirectly, Alex helped bring to the western public’s attention the greatest ongoing crime in the world, the genocide in the Ogaden along with the war crimes being committed in the War on the Somali People, a.k.a the War on Terror against Al Shabab.
The last week of Alex’s life saw the biggest story yet, boosted by his legacy, the website Counterpunch, on the beginnings of the end of the Ethiopian regime.
With the passing of Alexander Cockburn, Africa lost a very good friend. Not only Africa, for I amongst many worldwide will really miss his advice, and friendship.
Long Live Alexander Cockburn, friend of Africa!